This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
The Colorado Supreme Court has decided to take up a years-long assault by leftists on Colorado Christian baker Jack Phillips, who earlier won at the U.S. Supreme Court his right not to be forced by the state to carry its religious messaging and ideologies.
But the decision for Phillips was on a technicality and now, finally, after more than a decade, the war could be nearing its end.
At issue now is a lawsuit an extremist in the transgender community filed against Phillips for declining to violate his faith and use his cake artistry to promote transgenderism.
Phillps and his Masterpiece Cakeshop were, years ago, at the Supreme Court over state orders he promote homosexuality. The justices formally scolded the state of Colorado for its "hostility" to him. The state had adopted a so-called "nondiscrimination" law through which they demanded that Phillips express the state's chosen ideologies and statements regarding homosexuality and transgenderism.
The state, although being slapped down, later launched a similar war against the Christian owner of a digital corporation, 303 Creative, and the subsequent decision by the Supreme Court slapped the state's actions down yet again, this time establishing freedom of speech for Christian business owners.
Now, a report from the ADF confirms Colorado's high court is taking up Phillips' fight with the transgender lawyer. The state's Colorado Court of Appeals had pursued that forced-speech agenda by ruling that the state could require him to express messages that violate his faith.
"Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis that upheld free speech for all, ADF attorneys filed a supplemental notice with the Colorado Supreme Court asking it to apply that ruling and similarly affirm Phillips’ free speech rights in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Scardina," the ADF said.
In the case, an activist attorney, Autumn Scardina, and Colorado officials misused the same state law that was at issue in 303 Creative to punish Phillips for more than a decade.
"Free speech is for everyone. As the U.S. Supreme Court held in 303 Creative, the government can’t force artists to express messages they don’t believe," said ADF spokesman Jake Warner. “Because the attorney asked Jack to create a custom cake that would celebrate and symbolize a transition from male to female, the requested cake is speech under the First Amendment. The Colorado Supreme Court should apply 303 Creative to reverse the appeals court’s decision punishing Jack. You don’t need to agree with Jack’s views to agree that Americans shouldn’t be compelled to express what they don’t believe."
The origination of this fight came on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear the first dispute involving Phillips.
He prevailed in 2018 at the high court when state officials demanded he create a custom cake celebrating a homosexual wedding.
On that day, "an activist attorney called Masterpiece Cakeshop, requesting that Phillips create a custom cake that would symbolize and celebrate a gender transition. The attorney then called again to request another custom cake, one depicting Satan smoking marijuana, to 'correct the errors of [Phillips'] thinking.' Phillips politely declined both requests because the cakes expressed messages that violate his core beliefs. The attorney then filed the current lawsuit, threatening to continue harassing Phillips until he is punished," the ADF reported.
"Jack works with all people and always decides whether to create a custom cake based on what message it will express, not who requests it," Warner said.
A report some weeks ago from the Daily Caller News Foundation noted the 303 Creative ruling "may finally bring Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillip’s more than a decade-long legal battle to a decisive end."
The report explained although Phillips won his 2018 Supreme Court case, Colorado's leftist courts subsequently sided with transgender attorney Autumn Scardina who launched a lawsuit against him.
It was because the ruling in Phillips’ original case only addressed the state’s hostility against his religious beliefs, not the broader free speech issues surrounding Colorado’s law barring public accommodations from restricting services based on sexual orientation, which have now been resolved by the Supreme Court’s decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis.